Other than the Safe Cure, Warner’s Safe Nervine was perhaps the most pervasive of the Warner’s original line of remedies. It appeared in embossed bottles from all of the Foreign Offices, with the possible exception of Pressburg, and it may have been distributed there using only a label to designate the contents. It appeared in both pint and half pint versions (Rochester, London, Toronto and Frankfurt).
So, what exactly, was Nervine and what was it intended to do? According to Warner’s Artist’s Album of 1888, “Warner’s Safe Nervine brings refreshing sleep to weary mortals.” Pretty impressive. The Artist’s Album continues
Warner’s Safe Nervine is a pleasant, harmless preparation, to be used in connection with Warner’s Safe Cure and other Warner’s Safe Remedies in cases of general debility, sleeplessness, nervousness, irritability, &c., and for headaches, rush of blood to the head and general nervous prostration there is no better and no safer remedy in the market.
In short, Nervine was Warner’s “nerve tonic.” In addition, the bottle label promised that Nervine “Relieves Pain of All Kinds and May Be Taken in Large or Small Doses Without Injury.” Unlike its well-known counterpart, Safe Cure, we do not have the formula for Nervine and therefore, do not know if it contained alcohol as a primary ingredient. However, the boxed and labelled versions pictured above indicate that, at least, that the Melbourne Nervine was “compounded with alcohol” and contained “not more than 31 parts per centum of proof spirit. “Nevertheless, Safe Nervine was clearly intended not as an alternative to Safe Cure, but rather a supplement to treat other conditions. Whether it succeeded in doing that remains a mystery.
The London Pint Nervine and Rochester Half Pint Nervine are courtesy of Glass Works Auction. The remaining photos are of my collection and from the internet.